Net Metering

The only way folks are going to change the way they do things is if it creates jobs and saves money and makes money.  Net metering seems to be the answer in my mind.  We need to get our state legislatures to make it possible for factories, stores and private homes to create their own energy with solar and wind and contribute to a central grid through net metering.

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Manufacturers may actually come back to the USA if it is more cost effective through net metering.  Jobs will be created through installation of these systems, and hopefully job opportunities returning to the USA.  Manufacturers love saving money, their profits improve so then their stock holders are happy too.  Making money is the central purpose to life on this planet.  With net metering we can save the planet and make money.  Everybody is happy.

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Here is the easiest explanation I could find regarding Net Metering.

Imagine the simplest possible metering arrangement: a single, 1960s-standard electromechanical meter. Now imagine that a residential customer, Ray McSolar, added a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system (also known as a solar-electric system) to his home, on his side of this meter. Ray wakes up early for his job; on most days, he is out of the house before sunrise. In these dark morning hours, Ray makes his coffee and breakfast while watching the morning news on TV. The electric meter spins forward as Ray is consuming electricity from the grid.

Determined not to waste a bit of electricity, Ray shuts off all of his appliances as he heads off to work. Ray’s solar panels now start churning out electricity as the sun rises—electricity Ray sends back to the overstressed grid. His meter now spins in reverse.

When Ray returns at night to cook dinner and relax in front of the TV, the meter spins forward again as he consumes more electricity than his system generates. The result? Ray’s bill will show only his net consumption of electricity from the grid. Should it be a hot sunny month (when the grid needs the most help), or a month in which Ray’s electricity use is low, any excess electricity his system generates is rolled over to his next bill, just as he might rollover excess cell phone minutes.

Utilities should not have a divine right to charge for electricity that customers can otherwise generate more efficiently and more cleanly on their own.

Congress realized the vast potential of net metering when it mandated in the 2005 Energy Bill that every state consider adopting or expanding net metering programs by the end of 2007.

Participation in New Jersey has skyrocketed by over 30,000 percent since 2002. It’s amazing. The state utility commission is literally drowning in new applications. Because they embraced the net-metering concept and new business applications soared because of the savings on their bottom line from providing their own energy. What New Jersey and other states (like Montana, and Oregon) prove is that Americans are willing to invest in their own energy independence if state regulations would only let them.

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Why don’t legislators in the south like it?  Any ideas?

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